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24 week old and 11.30pm bedtime!

(12 Posts)
Izzybuzzybuzzybees Mon 15-Apr-13 00:02:30

My DS is almost 24 weeks old. He is BF but can take a bottle of EBM. He is a rubbish sleeper, ridiculously bad. He doesn't nap except occasional naps in the car seat or the odd twenty min nap on mum or dad. This is on itself a problem but my main one is nighttime.

He won't go down to sleep any earlier than around 11pm. Tonight it was 11.40pm and the night before midnight. Obviously this needs to change but I literally have no clue how!

My DD was a fabulous sleeper from 6 weeks so I can't draw on that at all.

Anyone any advice? Just now he has his last BF downstairs then gets put in cot usually asleep. I have ordered a new baby monitor so we can hear him while we are downstairs but at the minute I can't see us having an evening. He still feeds at night, and wakes regularly requiring his hand held for a few mins til he falls back asleep. Oh and he's in his own room now as he was feeding loads when in bedside crib. He uses to go around 5 hrs at night between last feed and first night feed but this has shortened dramatically and now after his morning feed he goes a stupidly long stretch, I'm talking 5/6 hrs til he wants fed sometimes more. I tried offering breast more often but this resulted in piddly wee 20 second feeds!

I'm at a loss as to how to fix this! Please help!

StuntNun Mon 15-Apr-13 12:20:14

It might help to start recording his sleeps and feeds. I found with mine that it was quite difficult to find a natural routine and it had to be imposed on him.

LuisGarcia Mon 15-Apr-13 12:21:53


How much support can dp give you? How old is dd? The reason I ask is it sounds like ds has got his body clock squiffy, and one solution could be to adjust yours to match his, then bring both of you back to daytime iyswim.

With his naps, how do those odd 20 minutes happen? As in, how often, and what do you have to do to get them?

LuisGarcia Mon 15-Apr-13 12:23:07

Recording sleeps and feeds is a good idea.

Izzybuzzybuzzybees Mon 15-Apr-13 18:46:56

DH is really good and willing to help. There's only so much he can do as he needs to function for work and to be honest any time he has done any feeds at night J hasn't settled very well and I've been up anyway! DD is 3.5 and if I left j to cry for any length of time she would wake up sad

The 20minute naps are random. Sometimes it's immediately post feed in that he will fall asleep at the breast and snooze for a bit. Other times he gets grumpy where he is ie bouncer etc and I pick him up and cuddle and he drops off.

I have an app that I've been using to track his feeds and sleeps. No pattern emerging yet tho except that he goes a stupidly long time after his first feed til the next one!

LuisGarcia Mon 15-Apr-13 22:21:18

Re the naps, have you tried the 90 minute rule?

Re the nights, is there grandparent help available? I.e. could DD stay with them for a few days?

Magicmayhem Mon 15-Apr-13 22:31:42

if he goes to bed at 11pm, what time does he wake up in the night, and then the morning?

StuntNun Mon 15-Apr-13 23:13:07

I don't get sleepy cues from DS3 who's 22 weeks so the 90 minute rule worked for me. I try to have him in his sleeping bag with the curtains pulled and a dummy to hand for some quiet time so if he seems sleepy at all I can put him down in his cot with the dummy and shush him. It works sometimes, other times he feeds to sleep or is cuddled to sleep.

LuisGarcia Tue 16-Apr-13 01:52:20

Things I learned from J.

1. Sleep begets sleep. For the baby, being well rested makes the next sleep easier. Going to sleep is a skill that some don't find easy, and acquiring skills is easier when you are relaxed. For the parent, having some confidence that when LO is asleep they mean it for at least x amount of time means the parent can sleep for nearly x amount of time. For anyone supporting the parent, like a dp, the parent sleeping takes the edge off the panic surrounding not being able to sleep themselves for any reason. For other family members, like other dc, being well slept makes them less ratty which helps everyone. So for the whole family, sleep begets sleep, and is good. You're all in this together, and solving it involves everyone doing their bit. This is not a problem "with the baby".

2. Babies will do anything in their power to stop you wanting more babies

3. Babies have a roughly 90 minute brainwave pattern. So the easiest time for them to fall asleep is 90 minutes after they last woke up. Attempting to get them to sleep after every 90 minutes gives them most opportunities to sleep. By which I mean if you have a 10 minute routine to get them to sleep, start it after 80 minutes, even if they were only asleep while feeding for 5 minutes. If a sleep attempt fails, try again at multiples of 90 minutes, as their patterns are repeating ("second wind").

4. Babies are hard, hard work.

5. Babies (and adults) have hormonal patterns that dictate their night / day routines, that are only marginally affected by social cues. That's why you get jetlag, and it's why random baby waking is so destructive to your sleep.

So, his body clock is messed up because he's "jet lagged", he's feeding and not sleeping at the wrong times of day as a result, and you need to cue him back to better timings, but you're hampered by dd needing you too during the day? Does that sound right?

Things I've learned from L;

1. Nothing J taught me is true and I'm relearning. They are all different.

2. I'm an idiot

StuntNun Tue 16-Apr-13 05:51:44

Part of the problem is that the sleeps are so random. It might be worth putting a schedule in place. I have a rough one with DS3 which fits in around the school day. I feed him between 6 and 7 a.m. when he wakes up, although he isn't that interested in morning feeds. Then he naps in the pram on the way to school at 8.30 a.m. I try and feed him when I get back (he wakes as soon as the pram stops) but again he usually isn't that interested. I go all out to get him to sleep at 11 ish, make sure we're in position so that at the first eye rub he's already in his sleeping bag with the curtains closed and all toys removed from his cot. Sometimes he will sleep in his cot but there's usually cuddling and dummy and anything else I can do to keep him asleep. Then back in the pram for 2 p.m. school pick up and a feed when he gets back. He may need a nap around 4 to 5 p.m. and this one is tough - unless he's very tired it might take a car ride to get him to sleep for a few minutes. I try and feed him again at 5 p.m. then again as part of his bedtime routine at 7 ish.

The bedtime routine is absolutely crucial. It trains children that it's time to go to sleep and eventually they can't resist it. My 10yo DS1 still has a wind down from 7.30 p.m. when there's no TV, pjs at 8 p.m. then a story (he reads his own now), milk and toast. He's in bed at 8.30 and asleep by 9, he can't help falling asleep. So a bedtime routine is the key to you having evenings to yourself even when your child gets older.

Are there any other reasons that might cause disturbed sleep? I have to limit my caffeine consumption or it affects DS3. He has a Sleepyhead bed guard in his cot which helps him sleep. What about swaddling? Or a comforter? Is it dark enough in the room?

Izzybuzzybuzzybees Tue 16-Apr-13 12:53:25

luis you are not an idiot!

The 90min rule doesn't seem to apply. He honestly doesn't get tired much during the day at all.

I could limit my diet coke intake and see if that helps. He isn't swaddled, hasn't been for a long long time, I don't think he would tolerate it now anyway. His room has a black out blind so dark enough and we have Ewan the sheep playing at bedtime.

If he goes down at 11pm he would usually wake around 2ish needing hand held then maybe wakes around 4/5 for a feed then again at 7.30 or 8am. After that morning feed he won't feed for about five hours!!

Andcake Tue 16-Apr-13 16:59:56

Sounds like your having a tough time. Ds used to do a few of the things you describe but not all at once. The late bedtime I slowly kicked by doing the bedtime routine at about 7 then popping him into a sling make whichever room we were in v quiet. At that time slings usually lulled him to sleep and I would mostly have a evening even if baby was attached. Eventually he started going to sleep by 8 and after a week or so of that we put him in the cot instead of the sling.

Not feeding for hours in the morning- that used to really annoy me. The only way I sorted was a few nights of cosleeping and cuddling back to sleep instead of feeding. Pushing back the feed. Easier for us as bf failed so he has ebm and formula so he didn't expect cuddles to lead to food as even bm came out a bottle.The first night I got him to not eat til 6 then 8 and now at 8mo he doesn't feed at night at all.

Naps - 90 min rule didn't work here. Have you tried 234 instead. I also think the only way to get ds to nap or sleep in general is to bore him to sleep by sitting in a v dark room letting him wriggle for a bit then when he wants cuddling hold him v close into me so he can't see anything else or wriggle then ignore him in my arms til he drifts off! Dull but seems to work. I call it the mummy swaddle.

But all of this is trial and error and probably obvious but slowly worked for us.

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